Did you know Spartanburg is close to several destinations that are perfect for a family vacation? You can drive to all these locations in 8 hours or less saving the price of airline tickets. Keep reading to find out which places are less than a day’s drive from Spartanburg.
Spring and summer break are fast approaching, which means you are running out of time on planning a family trip. Let’s face it- with children, vacations can be expensive, especially when you need to travel by plane. Luckily, you live in the Upstate, and are within a day’s drive to plenty of places you and your family can enjoy as a vacation!
10 different places to vacation within a day’s drive (eight hours or less)
Distance: 247 Miles; Average Travel Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Savannah may not seem like the stand-out place to go to bring your family, but they have quite a bit to keep you busy. The Savannah Children’s Museum is a two-levels of outdoor fun for your children to explore. Mix learning with fun at The Georgia State Railroad Museum or explore Old Fort Jackson and For Pulaski. Cool down at Surf Lagoon Water Park, or head over to Tybee Island for paddle boarding or a day at the beach.
Distance: 204 miles; Average Travel Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Like Savannah, Charleston can help you turn your vacation into an educational experience with the various Plantations, Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, and Fort Sumter. The South Carolina Aquarium is also located in Charleston so you can check out the marine life while you are close to the coast. Speaking of the coast, Kiawah, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, and Edisto Beach give you plenty of options if you want to put your toes in the sand.
Distance: 181 miles; Average Travel Time: 3 hours
Being one of the larger cities close to the Upstate, Atlanta has plenty to do with the family to keep you busy from the time you arrive, right up to the moment you head home. You can check out the awesome Georgia Aquarium, or get in touch with nature by visiting Atlanta Botanical Garden, Inc or Centennial Olympic Park- which includes a splash fountain, picnic areas, and open fields to let your little ones burn off some energy. If your family is seeking thrills, head over to Six Flags Over Georgia. Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta offers rides, a 4-D movie, and themed play areas for the Lego lovers. You can visit the World of Coca-Cola, or visit the animals at Zoo Atlanta.
Distance: 77 miles; Average Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Charlotte may be a city that you drive up to on any given Saturday to spend the day with your family, but why not turn it into a vacation? With plenty to do to keep you busy, it won’t be difficult to fill up your vacation itinerary. Discovery Place is full of fun, interactive activities for the kids. Head over to Carowinds one day for some theme park action, or, for the real thrill seekers, go whitewater rafting at U.S. National Whitewater Center. Nascar lovers can visit the Nascar Hall of Fame. Want to spend your vacation swimming and going down water slides? Great Wolf Lodge is a great place for some water fun, right at your hotel!
St. Augustine, FL
Distance: 415 miles; Average Travel Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Talk about an education, but fun, family vacation! St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. Not only is this city filled with history, but the beach is right there as well! At Marineland Dolphin Adventure, you and your family can view dolphin habitats, check out sea turtles and sand tiger sharks, and even swim with the dolphins. St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is filled with alligators and a bird exhibit. Potter’s Wax Museum includes character from Star Wars, famous historic figures, and pop icons. Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest stone fortress in the continental United States, is both fun to explore and educational, not to mention the awesome views from the top.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Distance: 239 miles; Average Travel Time: 4 hours
Probably one of the most visited beaches for residents of the Upstate, Myrtle Beach has plenty of reasons people keep going back. This beach has a lot more to offer than waves and sand for families with children. Family Kingdom Amusement Park offers plenty of fun, and even looks extra cool at night when it’s all lit up! If you don’t stay in one of the many hotels that offer their own mini water park, you can visit Myrtle Waves Water Park if you want to cool off in something other than salt water. Wonderworks, Ripley’s Aquarium, Hollywood Wax Museum, and miniature golf are just a few other attractions you can soak in along with the beautiful coastal South Carolina sun.
Distance: 472 miles; Average Travel Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
This destination may be more suitable for families with older children. We’ve talked about educational vacations, and what place is more historically educational than our nation’s capital? The White House, a plethora of memorials and monuments, museums galore, art galleries, and the National Zoological Park– you may not be able to take it all in with just one trip. Six Flags America in Maryland is only a 30-minute drive from Washington, D.C., so you can break up your site seeing with some thrill rides.
Gatlingburg/Pigeon Forge, TN
Distance: 145 miles; Average Travel Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Not only are residents of the Upstate fairly close to beaches and larger cities, we are right next to the beautiful Smoky Mountains. You can book a hotel in the area, but a great way to experience the mountains is with a cabin rental. Cabins of the Smoky Mountains has a huge selection of cabin rentals, ranging from one to 12 bedrooms. Most of the cabins are equipped with a jacuzzi and games, such as pool, air hockey, pinball, and even ping pong. Theme park lovers with want to head over to Dollywood, which has plenty of rides for children, as well as thrill rides and shows. Get in touch with nature with hiking trails, zip lines, and whitewater rafting. The heart of Pigeon Forge is a long street filled with different things to do, such as go-karting, miniature golf, and arcades.
Our sister site, Kidding Around Greenville, has reviewed a variety of Pigeon Forge Attractions. Check them out to plan your perfect vacation!
Lake Lure, NC
Distance: 49 miles; Average Travel Time: 1 hour
Lake Lure is a fantastic place to spend a week during the summer time. This is a great vacation spot if you want a more relaxing experience, while keeping the kids entertained. Lake Lure is a large man-made lake, and even in the hottest months of the summer, the water stays at refreshing temperatures. To really get a great full week experience, rent a house right on the lake for the week. Renting a house allows you to experience true lake-living, and will also help you save money by being able to cook your meals and not have to eat out three times a day. You and your family can swim, canoe, kayak, paddle boat, or rent a pontoon boat to spend the day on the lake, literally. Bring the kids to Lake Lure Beach and Water Park– a beach like setting on the lake, with splash area and a water slide. Chimney Rock and right up the street to add extra adventure to your vacation.
Walt Disney World Resort
Distance: 536 miles; Average Travel Time: 8 hours
This may be pushing the limits, as Disney is something usually well planned out, as it is nothing short of expensive. Eight hours is a long time in the car with children, but leaving early in the morning will get you there well before dinner time. With the cost of Disney park tickets rising annually, making the trip by car is one way to save some extra dough. If you haven’t taken your children to Disney World, but have been thinking about it, don’t think any longer. It is well worth it. Everything about it truly is ‘magical,’ as they say, and it won’t be an experience your children, or you, forget any time soon. Disney resorts may push the budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience Disney without breaking the bank. Lake Buena Vista, FL (which is the city on Disney World’s self-addressed envelope) has a huge variety of different hotels at a very affordable rate. Most of the hotels surrounding Disney World cater specifically to tourists who are in the Orlando area to go to Disney, and offer free shuttle services to and from the park, saving you from paying high parking prices. And you don’t need to stay on Disney property to experience some of the benefits the resorts offer; you are more than welcome to dine at any of the resorts (advanced reservations highly recommended). If you are determined to stay at a Disney resort, they offer ‘Value’ resorts, which are priced similar to hotels that aren’t on Disney property. The Value resorts do no look budget at all! Disney’s All-Star Movie Resort carries the theme of Disney movies throughout the entire property, making it extra fun visually for your children. Sports lovers will get a kick out of Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, with, you guessed it, sports décor everywhere, including a football helmet the size of a house!
Bonus: If you’re headed to Orlando with a lego fan, you might want to check out LEGOLAND!
This spring and summer, take advantage of the awesome location you live in known as Spartanburg! The attractions listed at each location above is just a sample of what each location offers, and most have several more fun-filled activities just waiting for you and your family to check out. Also, keep in mind that travel times may vary based on traffic and extra stops for food and potty breaks. Several vacation spots may not be arm’s reach, but they are much closer than a plane ride away, and you might even have some fun during your road-trip getting there.
Where is your family’s favorite vacation spot within a day’s drive?